The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority(LVCVA) is tasked with promoting our fabulous city as the world’s premier destination for both leisure and business travel. In 2015, Las Vegas welcomed an astonishing 42.3 million travelers and that visitation record is expected to be broken once again for 2016. Tourism is the lifeblood of our economy, supporting nearly half the jobs in the area and generating $50 billion in economic activity each year.
It’s important to stay up-to-date on all of the latest local happenings because being a great place to visit makes Las Vegas a great place to live. In 2016, Las Vegas had a lot to celebrate and next year is already shaping up to be another one for the record books! Here’s a look at some of the major milestones setting our city up for success in the year ahead.
Las Vegas Convention Center District
With more than 22,000 meetings and nearly six million business travelers hosted in Las Vegas annually, the meetings and convention industry is crucial to Southern Nevada’s economic success. In order to preserve Las Vegas’ reputation as the leading trade show destination in North America, the LVCVA is investing in the future with the Las Vegas Convention Center District (LVCCD). Development of the LVCCD is expected to create thousands of jobs, pump billions of dollars into the local economy. In October, Nevada State lawmakers approved Senate Bill 1 and Assembly Bill 1 during a special legislative session calling for a 0.5 percentage point increase in Clark County’s room tax to help fund the project.
In 2016, the LVCVA moved forward with the demolition of the LVCVA-owned Riviera to make way for an important stage of the LVCCD project, the development of the Las Vegas Convention Center’s Diamond Parking Lot. The lot incorporates more than 26 acres of rentable space for shows and events with outdoor exhibits.
Root for the Home Team in the Entertainment Capital of the World
Nevada’s Senate Bill One also included provisions for the development of a $1.9 billion, 65,000-seat stadium that could house the University of Nevada, Las Vegas football team as well as a potential professional football franchise and a variety of special events.
Las Vegas is also preparing to welcome its first professional hockey team, the Vegas Golden Knights. The T-Mobile Arena, which opened its doors in the Spring of 2016, will be home to the highly-anticipated team, which is expected to begin playing during the 2017-2018 season.
These major announcements add to Las Vegas’ reputation as a top-tier destination for hosting high-profile sporting events, including the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, Big League Weekend, NASCAR Champions Week, NBA Summer League, NCAA basketball tournaments, USA Rugby Sevens, the Las Vegas Bowl and UFC matchups among many others.
Changing Our Landscape
In addition to enhancing sports offerings throughout the destination, our city is home to some of the world’s best resorts, culinary venues, entertainment, special events, spas, golf courses and the list goes on. One of the many benefits of living in Las Vegas is the opportunity to experience world-class entertainment and activities 365 days a year in our own backyard!
Reinvention is key to the success of Las Vegas, providing visitors with reasons to visit the destination time and again. In 2016, the destination celebrated the addition of a number of stunning new additions. Some notable highlights include The Park, an immersive outdoor dining and entertainment district on the Las Vegas Strip and The Park Theater at Monte Carlo Las Vegas, a 5,200 seat entertainment venue.
The destination also introduced several new options for travel accommodations. W Hotels Worldwide made its debut in the Las Vegas market at the SLS in late 2016, while the Lucky Dragon Hotel & Casino opened its doors just a short distance away on the north end of the strip. The Lucky Dragon is Las Vegas’ first casino resort to deliver an authentic Asian lifestyle experience for visitors, expanding on the multitude of options already available to Las Vegas visitors.
Considering the ever-changing menu of new offerings in Las Vegas, convenient and efficient means of traveling to the destination are critical to growth in visitation. In order to foster gains in visitation, Las Vegas must continually add new airline routes from markets not only domestically, but also around the world.
History was made in 2016 when Hainan Airlines’ first flight from Beijing to Las Vegas touched down at McCarran International Airport, the first-ever flight between Las Vegas and Mainland China. The service will initially operate three times each week.
Norwegian Airlines also introduced service from its third nonstop destination between Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport and London, followed by nonstop service between Las Vegas and Oslo in November. The airline launched its first two nonstop routes from Las Vegas, Copenhagen and Stockholm in 2015.
Mexico-based airline, Interjet, also celebrated the launch of new daily nonstop service to Las Vegas from Mexico City in the fall. The airline also offers service to Las Vegas from Guadalajara and Monterrey.
If you love Las Vegas and want to stay up-to-date on all the latest tourism-related news and events, please become a Las Vegas Host Committee ambassador! Anyone from the community can become an ambassador by registering on our website www.lvcva.com/host or emailing our office at firstname.lastname@example.org. It costs nothing other than your commitment to better our community. You can also follow the Host Committee on Twitter @VegasHosts.
As we say goodbye to a successful 2016 and look forward to the future, we thank you for your continued support of southern Nevada’s No. 1 industry- Tourism! +